Ottawa, ON – 93 days have passed since the last Carleton Ravens home game. In that time it’s been a long break that featured the season getting paused due to the surging Omicron variant and even a COVID outbreak within the team. The Ravens though, finally returned to the Ice House and their chase for the Queen’s Cup.
The Ravens were hoping to forget the last 12 hours though, which saw them lose a 2-1 lead against the same Redbirds with 13 seconds left in the game and then lose in overtime. These two teams are known for tight defensive battles. In these types of games, the first goal is so important as in all the meetings, the team that has scored the first goal has gone on to win the game. The Ravens celebrated Senior Night and honoured forward Rykr Cole pre-game.
McGill would be first on the scoresheet. Carleton got penalized for too many men 5 minutes into the 1st period as F Brandon Frattaroli went top blocker to give McGill the early 1-0 lead. Carleton would play a mistake-free rest of the 1st period. Cole McLaren was great for the Ravens, but Alexis Shank was just that much better.
The Ravens had a chance to score two goals with a 4-minute powerplay. Despite all the good looks, Alexis Shank stood tall and did not give the Ravens any opportunities, while the Redbirds killed off the penalty.
To describe the start of the 2nd period, you could use the word chippy with bodies thrown left and right; scrums after every whistle.
Connor Jean was even assessed a two and ten, which negated 18 seconds left on the powerplay for the Ravens. The Ravens would have many chances, but none could go in. The Ravens went 0/4 in their powerplays during the 2nd period.
No matter how great McLaren plays, the offence just wasn’t there. Alexis Shank would answer every offensive chance the Ravens would get.
McGill played a simple 3rd period by killing Carleton’s significant chances, boxing out bodies in front of the net, making sure Alexis Shank could see everything. The Ravens would press and press and get more aggressive but to no avail. The Redbirds were sound defensively throughout the 3rd period.
One of Carleton’s adjustments was off-ice, losing five players as they signed pro deals during the shutdown of the OUA season. “Practices were a lot harder. We didn’t have a whole pile of guys. Some practices, we had 11 guys, which made it tough to do much more than individual skills and try to get their conditioning back.” Head Coach Shaun van Allen said post-game.
Looking ahead to the future, the Ravens play a home-and-home with the Concordia Stingers.
“Well, we are short all year. This is what we have, and we just got to find a way to play with this many players.” van Allen added post-game when asked how the team can rebound going into the future.
- Powerplay: You have to score at least one on the 4 or 5 chances you get. This is more true when you consider that you aren’t getting much offensive zone time 5v5.
- Cole McLaren & Alexis Shank: Many times this season between McGill and Carleton, the goalies have often stolen the show, which was confirmed again tonight.
- McGill’s offence: It struck early, which was huge because the team that scores first has gone on to win every game
COVER PHOTO: @CURavens/Twitter